Friday, 30 September, 2022

Aug 21 grenade attack was planned in Hawa Bhaban: Joy

Prime Minister’s ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy has said BNP leader Tarique Rahman had a meeting with the planners and enforcers of the blast at Hawa Bhaban prior to August 21 grenade attacks in 2004, reports BSS.

He said this on a post of his verified Facebook account with a 2-minute visual statement on the matter on Tuesday.

On August 14, 2004, Tarique had a meeting with the then BNP government’s state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, and Harkat-ul-Jihad leaders Mufti Hannan and Maulana Tajuddin at Hawa Bhaban, an alternate powerhouse of BNP of that tenure, said Joy.

Tarique Rahman also gave an order to kill the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina while even promising

assistance of law enforcers and state agencies to carry out the plan, he said.

The Hawa Bhaban meeting was also joined by Noor Chowdhury, self-confessed and convicted killer of Bangabandhu, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, former secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, Abul Harris Chowdhury, political secretary of the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, Abdus Salam Pintu, deputy minister of the BNP-Jamaat government, he added.

Two days later, on August 16, the second meeting was held at the residence of Babar at the capital’s Minto Road where the entire plan was chalked out and the decision was finalized, Joy continued.

Finally, they met again on August 18 at Pintu’s residence where Babar, in presence of Pintu’s brother Tajuddin and the then prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia’s nephew Saiful Islam Duke, handed over 12 arges grenades to Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad.

On August 21, 2004, Harkat-ul-Jihad blasted the grenades at an anti-terrorism rally headed by the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina in front of Awami League’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue.

The grenade blasts killed twenty-six leaders and activists of Awami League and police helped attackers flee the scene.

Law enforcers even obstructed taking the wounded people to the hospital. Police started showering the spot with water to wash away all the evidence on the spot.

Later, Tarique and Duke, with the aid of state agencies, sent the mastermind of the attack Tajuddin to Pakistan, Joy said.